Discuss And Work Together, Respectfully

Nuke cloud (2)

Everyone and their brother seems to be jumping on board to hit on Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of our “Major Strategic Ally” and friend, Israel. 


This after Netanyahu accepted an invitation from the United States Congress to speak about Iranian nukes threatening the State of Israel, the region, and the Western world. 


1) Iran, Israel and Arab Allies:


Truly, can anyone blame Israel and our Arab allies of being distressed that we are disavowing our 2011 commitment to them, as President Obama stated:


“You also see our commitment to our shared security in our…there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon…My policy is prevention of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.”


Now we have as reported gone from preventing Iran on obtaining nuclear weapons to instead a possible agreement that still leaves thousands of Iran’s nuclear centerfuges spinning and “sunsets” as early as 2025!


This is a lopsided turning of the tables on Israel and of our Arab allies for reapproachment with Axis of Evil, Iran


2) Russia and Ukraine:


But not alone are our Middle East allies in feeling abandoned by us, as we made security guarantees also to Ukraine in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 that specifically committed the U.S., U.K. and Russia to:


“Respect the independence and sovereignty and existing border of Ukraine [and to] refrain from the threat or use of force.”


Well so much for that as Crimea has now been annexed by Russia and battling rages across eastern Ukraine by Russian-supported separatists, despite a blantant violation of a truce recently brokered by France and Germany.


3) Poland and Czech Republic


Yet once again, with Poland and the Czech republic (members of NATA), we commited ourselves to building a missle shield only then to back away and seemingly abandon them


“In one of the biggest national security reversals of his young presidency, Mr. Obama cancelled…plans to station a radar facility [and]…ground-based interceptors.”


Questions:


Why are we continually turning on longtime friends and allies and embracing enemies sworn to our destruction?


What do our commitments mean to anyone anymore and why shouldn’t our shunted allies speak out, especially when it is their countries that are being placed in jeopardy?


Disrespect and Freedom of Speech:


What is also amazing is how low we have gone in our interactions such that we no longer discuss and disagree respectfully, but instead resort now to withholding security information, disgraceful name-calling (e.g. “Chickenshit”), discrediting, and even seeking to silence opposing views!


What has happened to our dearly held and constitutional rights and values for democracy, free speech, including openly debating issues and respecting differences of opinion?


Institutional Anti-Semitism:


Interesting also is how big and tough we are being on little Israel (population 8 million and about the size of the 5th smallest U.S. state of New Jersey)…


While simultaneously many seem to be proverbially (excuse the language) peeing their pants in front of the newly aggressive “Big Bear,” Russia


What is more important when it comes to the dangers of a Iran with nuclear WMD–a longtime friend and ally Israel that is facing a potentially existential threat just 70 years after the Holocaust or getting an historical “award” for making an agreement (and a potentially bad one at that) with Iran?


Conclusion:


Behavior unbecoming, includes serially breaking commitments, silencing the opposition (uh, against our Constituion), name-calling and bullying, and endangering longtime allies and friend–this is not leadership and does not leave anyone a desired legacy. 


Let’s openly and freely discuss and work together respectfully in true friendship and partnership, and get a good deal that safeguards the democracies of the United States and Israel. ;-)


(All Opinions my own.)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to blueforce4116)

Is This A Partner For WMD Peace?

Everyone was speculating why Iran was building a 202 meter long life-size replica of a Nimitz Class U.S. Aircraft Carrier in the Persian Gulf.


Well today (as we are hear of “progress” with Iranian nuclear talks), we got our answer, as the Iranian military took the opportunity and blew the mock U.S. aircraft carrier to smithereens!



The commander of Iran’s Navy stated: “The Americans, and the entire world, knows that the American Navy is one of our targets and it will take us 50 seconds to destroy every US warship.”


At the same time, Iran is mulling over the purchase of a powerful anti-aircraft missile system from Russia.


So now Iran is going toward an agreement for a possible lifting of western financial sanctions and a 10-year nuke capability, and we are trusting them that it is for peaceful purposes?


Many of our major Middle East allies are concerned including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and more, and so much so that an Iranian nuke capability may “spark a nuclear arms race.”


Hmm…why the desperation for a deal with “Axis of Evil,” Iran amidst ongoing hostility and threats from Iran towards “The Great Satan,” America, and all the express concerns of our longtime friends and allies? 


Now we won’t just have deadly terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS to contend with across the region, but also a nuclear armed Iran–amidst regular threats to sink the U.S. Navy and annihilate Israel (and just 70 years after the Holocaust killed 6 million Jewish men, women, and children!).  


What have we learned about appeasement of dangerous foes and the unimaginable risks to millions of innocent lives around the world? ;-)

The Monster Under The Bed

Shiksa.com
For those familiar with Yiddish…



A shiksa is a non-Jewish girl and is sometimes used to refer to Jewish women that don’t follow the commandments. 



A shegetz is a similar term used for a male. 



Is it a bad word? 



Well, let’s just say it’s not a term of endearment. :-)



I guess it’s funny that everyone has terms for those who are not just like them.



Of course we all don’t have to be and aren’t the same, cut from the same mold.



But we all have to have respect for each other and get along. 



I think the worst part of people being different is not even the overt jokes or off-handed remarks which can certainly be hurtful, but much more the backdoor insinuations and aggressive behaviors. 



Lately, to be frank, it seems that ethnic and religious war is brewing big time in the world–anyone else notice?



Not regional, focused on oil and resources, long held dictatorships, human rights, or even “the Palestinian issue.”



But rather what no one wants to talk about or confront, a battle of civilizations.



It is so scary, because this is there are big and powerful actors at play whether Russia or China playing for the world’s leadership role (one overtly and the other covertly), Iran and North Korea freely wielding nukes and threateningly strutting “their stuff,” and ISIS and Al Qaeda looking for the next budding caliphate and  imposition of Sharia law as far and as wide as they can take it.



East meets West, democracy vs. dictatorship, religion against religion, this thing is building up steam, pressure is rising, and the question is whether and how big this is about to blow.



Shhh, if we don’t say the words or we pretend to “make nice” and give out jobs, dole out handouts, and use our drones, oh so discretely, maybe no one will notice. 



Are we being phobic about communism, radical Islam, budding economic and military might, and other differences, or are we pointing out what we are all perceiving, but greatly fear to face. 



When I saw recently that some wonderful Muslim people were surrounding synagogues in Europe, not to attack it, but rather to encircle it to defend it, I was not only in complete awe, but also realized how many good and righteous people there are out there.



These people are actually doing something about the injustices and power grabs they are witnessing, and not trying to obfuscate or opiate the masses. 



It’s not just about being tolerant of others and stripping hatred from our hearts and lives, but about being truthful when others may choose not to be.  ;-)



(Source Photo: Facebook)

Ever Feel This Way?

Stupid
I took this photo of an advertisement for the “I’m With Stupid” Minions movie released on February 2. 

 
Sadly, I think this sums up how I am feeling about current world affairs rapidly devolving into chaos, with little to nothing happening to bring it back from the brink:
 

- Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine forcibly take over the besieged city of Debaltseve in Ukraine, after the ceasefire that was agreed to last week.



- China builds four new fortress artificial islands in the South China Sea projecting it’s military might in disputed waters.



- Iran threatens gas embargo on U.S.suicide missions on U.S. Navy, missile attack on Israel, and nuclear enrichment expansion, while negotiating for lifting sanctions.



- Syrian fighting leaves over 250,000 dead and includes their “systematically” using chemical weapons



- ISIS burns another 45 people alive in Iraq, beheads 21 Coptic Christians abducted from Egypt, and commits mass “brutal and abnormal sex” on female captives.



- Boko Haram attack leaves another 2,000 dead in Nigeria (the world’s 4th largest democracy) with “bodies scattered everywhere.”



- Radical Islamists conduct terrors attacks in Europe in both France (Charlie Hebdo Magazine and a Jewish grocery store) and Copenhagen (a free speech event and a Synagogue).



- Dangerous terrorists apprehended and put away in Guantanamo detention facility are then released with about 28% (or more) returning to their chosen terror professions.



Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal points to this sorry state of affairs and our retrenchment in world affairs, as a serious misalignment between the age-old guns and butter debate.



Maybe time for some smart people to get in on things. ;-)



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

tURNING yOUR dEVICE aGAINST yOU!

Eavesdropping
So interesting article in BBC about the Samsung’s “Listening TV.”



This TV has voice activated controls and they don’t just take commands, but…



“If your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.”



So aside from hackers (and spies) being able to turn your phone and computer mics, cameras, and GPS location data on and off to surveil and eavesdrop on you, now the dumb television set can listen in as well. 



You can be heard, seen, and found…whether you know it or not. ;-)



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal with eyes and ears from here and here with attribution to Firas and Simon James)

Poli-trick-ians, No Way!

Barn

So periodically, I like to take a quick pulse of America.


So I find a way to ask someone(s) what they are seeing and experiencing, and what they think about what’s going on in Washington, D.C.


So this time, I asked someone about whether they watched the State Of The Union this week. 


The answer?


No way!


Why not?


They said (as if they heard this little mnemonic from others before), “because, they are all ‘POLI-TRICK-IANS!'”


I said, well that’s cute, but what do you mean?


This is what they said (paraphrasing):


- They don’t speak the truth.

- They just say what they think people want to hear. 


– It’s all just fighting between the (political) parties. 


– It’s not really about the people. 


– It’s not about making a difference, anymore [just about being in and keeping power].


Wow, this was pretty powerful. 


I could sense the anger and frustration. 


Also, the disillusionment. 


Checking in on the ratings, this seemed to jive with CNN (and other news media) saying, “State of the Union was President’s Lowest-Rated Yet.”


According to Nielsen only 31.7 million people tuned in…that’s out of a current U.S. population of 324 million!


On the positive side, the number of tweets was way up to 2.6 million during the hour-long address–how sweet those tweets.


Seriously though, we are here to serve the people…how do we get back their respect?


I suspect that the answer revolves around the following:


- We need to turn from fighting each other to fighting our real enemies like the threat from Islamist Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. 


- We need to break the gridlock and get something done (lot’s of things done)!


- We need to stop the political cliches and talk from the heart to the heart. 


- We need to stop thinking about ourselves and focus on the people–all the people (not the middle-class versus the rich, not main street from wall street, not the color or race that you are or aren’t)!


- We need to tackle the many big problems we are facing–the national debt, national defense (including cybersecurity), environmental sustainability, raising the level of housing, food, medical care, and education for all, and of course, everything technology and innovation!


We need to go from a perception of poli-trick-ians to genuine representatives and leaders of the people for the people. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Stop The Nuclear Threat

Armageddon
Before we get too rosy on the State of the Union…

 
Fascinating article in Forbes on the threat from nuclear armageddon. 
 
- The Russians nuclear missile survivability is improving with missiles “equiped with four warheads that can be independently targeted.”
 
- Typical yield is 500 kilotons–“equivalent to half a million tons of conventional explosives.”
 
- The impact of a single nuclear explosion is that it heats the targeted areas to a “few thousand degrees.”
 
- If/when exploded over a major city, “everything within a one-mile radius is destroyed, heavy damage extends to three miles, and fires will be widespread out to five miles.”
 
- People at ground zero will be annihilated immediately “by the blast effects or a wind-spread firestorm…(initial wind speed 700 mph)” 
 
- Those father from the epicenter will “linger longer before succumbing to the effects of prompt and delayed radiation.”
 
- Due to the magnetic pulse, “electronic devices will be shut down for a hundred miles in every direction.”
 
- How many long range nuclear missiles does Russia have? Over 2,000 (that are known)!
 
- Just 50, would leave every American city with over half a million people, “uninhabitable.”
 
Now think about the Mullahs of Iran targeting, America, “The Great Satan,” should they get this capability.
 
And do you think a Congressionally, bipartison endorsed, deadline-triggered sanctions on Iran should be vetoed or championed by the administration to stop this threat? 
 
May G-d bless us with the wisdom and strength of character to see through the delay tactics and subterfuge of our enemies and remove this real threat from us.
 
As to the Russians’ strategic nuclear arsenal, we better get moving along on Reagan’s Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative–because 2,000 is a heck of a lot of incoming! ;-)
 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to CX15)